Brooklyn Park police are 'frustrated' with troubling pattern of vandalism suspect
BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (FOX 9) - Brooklyn Park Police say they’re "frustrated" about a troubling pattern with the man accused of trashing a Caribou Coffee shop earlier in the week.
Officers say they responded to a call on Feb. 28 for someone trashing the coffee shop. Witnesses told police Heinrich was throwing glasses and mugs and breaking things.
Officers described the store as "a state of chaos and as though a tornado had blown through the store," charges read. Patrons and staff were so frightened they ran for safety and locked themselves in the bathroom.
Inspector Elliott Faust with the Brooklyn Park Police Department told FOX 9 it’s understandable why the attack caused so much panic on Tuesday.
"They thought it was an active shooter. When they’re sitting there and all of a sudden you hear smashing, and you look up, and there’s somebody just going crazy, smashing all the cups, flipping everything over. And right now everyone thinks of an active shooter," Faust said.
The property damage was at least the fifth incident reportedly involving Jack Heinrich over the course of about seven months.
Faust explained the department is frustrated dealing with Heinrich’s aggressive and out-of-control behavior in recent months. He was just convicted of setting fire to a Salvation Army church which cost thousands of dollars in property damage. And he is now accused of smashing out windows at a nearby taproom and trashing the Caribou.
"He has done some time in jail, but the minute that he’s let out it’s right back to where we were before, and it’s a day or two before he’s out again causing more problems in the community, and I mean damaging all these businesses. You know, we’re frustrated for sure," Faust said.
Faust acknowledged Heinrich’s past mental health issues but believes there has to be something the system can do to prevent the cycle from repeating.
"It just seems like there’s a failure somewhere in the system here," Faust added.
Heinrich was charged with third-degree burglary and first-degree damage to property for allegedly trashing the coffee shop.
He made his first court appearance Friday afternoon and the judge set his bail at $20,000. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 8.